Wednesday, December 18, 2013

A Christmas Prayer by Linda Wood Rondeau

Back Cover Blurb:
A year after learning of a son’s existence, Country music legend, Ethan Jacobs returns to Jasper Falls, a place of bitter memories, to help his twelve-year-old autistic child, given up for adoption at birth. Orphaned after the death of his adoptive parents, the boy is at risk of institutionalization due to probation violations and alleged inadequate guardianship of his current caregiver, an older, adoptive sister. In view of his son’s delicate emotional state, the court advises Ethan to keep his relationship to Gib secret for now.

As far as Jasper Falls knows, Ethan is in town to perform a Christmas benefit, although he longs to tell the world his current hit single, A Christmas Prayer, was inspired by a son he has yet to meet. Ethan’s intent was to rescue Gib. Instead, his presence seems to complicate the child’s life even more. Does God have a different plan for Gib no one has considered?

Read an Excerpt:

Chapter One

Alexis Jennings smelled smoke and rushed to the window. “Not another fire!”

Wishing it weren’t so would not change the outcome. Flames shot from the shed.

Alexis sprang into action with the kind of expediency a year of caring for Gib had taught her. She punched in 911, gave the address, and ran outside, the alarm blaring when she opened the door. Nice to know the fancy alarm system she’d installed at a hefty price was working. But how did Gib get outside without tripping it? At least this time Gib had set the fire outside and not in the house.

Alexis grabbed the lawn hose. Useless. Frozen solid. She waited in helplessness for the fire department while flames danced the length of the walls and on the roof.

She fumed. Where was Gib? Normally he returned to the scene of his trouble-making, laughing while others undid his messes.

Horror replaced anger. Was he in there? What if he was hurt and couldn’t get out?

Alexis edged closer to the shed. “Gib! Gib! Are you in there?”

Like flaming hands, the fire’s heat pushed her backward. No answer. The siren wails meant the fire department was near.

She hurried to the front as the truck pulled up. “I don’t know where Gib is!” Alexis screamed to the first firefighter she spotted.

While one group unraveled the hoses, another donned masks and axed their way in. Smoke billowed across the yard as flames engulfed the entire structure. Soon the fire was out, the shed a memory.

Donna Bilow took off her mask as she approached. “Doesn’t appear your brother was in there.”

Alexis sobbed with relief. “This is the first time Gib’s set a fire outside.”

“Can’t say for sure, but this one appears to be an accident.”

Please, Lord. Let it be so.

“Gib’s modus operandi is to light a newspaper, set it on the oven, and watch it burn until the smoke detector goes off. Most of the time I can extinguish it before the sprinklers come on. I’m at my wits end, Donna. I don’t know how to keep him and me safe anymore. When I scold him, he runs off and it takes me hours to find him. It’s as if he’s punishing me for punishing him.”

Donna’s face softened, the creases melting with empathy rather than the usual scowls of condemnation Alexis so often received.

“My nephew is autistic. Thankfully, he doesn’t set fires. My sister hides all the matches as a safety precaution.”

“I don’t keep matches in the house either. Gib steals them from The Quick Stop down the road, along with half a dozen candy bars.”

“Isn’t he forbidden to go there under the terms of his probation?”

“Gib does what Gib wants to do. He doesn’t consider the consequences.” Alexis tasted the acidity in her condemnation. Why hide her frustration? She’d made excuses for Gib long enough. “We found a metal box in the shed full of candy bars, matches, and cash.”

“Stolen, no doubt.”

“The bills are covered with melted chocolate; otherwise the contents are intact. A miracle the matches didn’t ignite from the heat.” Alexis shivered. If Gib had been in the shed …

What more could she do to reign Gib in? She’d read every book she could find on caring for autistic children. She’d tried every behavior modification technique the counselors suggested and those mentioned in her online support groups. Yet, his rebellion continued.

To buy her book, go here:

About Linda:
Winner of the 2012 Selah Award for best first novel The Other Side of Darkness/Harbourlight,  LINDA WOOD RONDEAU, writes stories of God’s mercies. Walk with her unforgettable characters as they journey paths not unlike our own. After a long career in human services, Linda now resides in Jacksonville, Florida.

Linda’s best-selling Adirondack Romance, It Really IS a Wonderful Life, is published by Lighthouse of the Carolinas and is available wherever books are sold.  Her next releases were her devotional book, I Prayed for Patience God Gave Me Children and Days of Vines and Roses.

Joy Comes to Dinsmore Street and A Christmas Prayer have been released in time for the Christmas Season.

Songs in the Valley/ Helping Hands Press. Will be released in late 2013 or early 2014.

Connect with her at:

(This Daily Grind—Life can be a grin but God is in the mundane of living. (a multi-author devotional blog )

Geezer Guys and Gals 
  WRITTEN FOR SENIORS BY SENIORS a mini exposition of favorite scripture and quotes

Linked In:
Amazon Author Page:


What Readers are saying:

Great read, especially around the holidays.
The characters and the storyline were very interesting.
This a a really wonderful story of love, acceptance and the challenges of caring for an autistic child. 

Reviews and Endorsements:
A beautiful tribute to caregivers, A Christmas Prayer is a heart-wrenching story of love and sacrifice with an ending that will make you smile. I highly recommend it as a Christmas gift, but don't forget a copy for yourself.
Ane Mulligan, President of Novel Rocket

I had the privilege of reading A Christmas Prayer by Linda Rondeau.  What a great story.  I fell in love with Gib and Alexis immediately.  Even though this was a short story, I feel as though the author filled in the blanks for me and I felt like I truly connected with each and every one of the characters.  I love how she tied up the loose ends for the reader as well, answering questions about Gib’s parents’ background and why they did what they did.

This was a great read, especially as the holidays are approaching.  I truly felt like I had a better understanding of what caregivers of special needs’ children go through and the frustration they can feel when the system tries to help, yet fails at times despite their best efforts.  It definitely made me realize I need to be more sensitive to those involved in helping special needs’ children, whether caregivers, teachers, parents, etc. The lives most people live are rarely what is seen - there is usually a lot more happening behind the scenes than realized.

It was a really sweet love story as well, reminding us that family is the most important gift we can be blessed with.  Great read, especially around the holidays.
Cheri Swalwell

Linda is giving away a copy of A Christmas Prayer. The giveaway is only available to U.S. addresses.

To be entered in the book giveaway, leave a comment along with your email address. You may enter the book giveaway twice--once on each spotlight post. 

Happy Reading!
Caroline Brown


squiresj said...

1st one to comment. I sure would love to win this. I'd read it, review it and share it with someone.
jrs362 at Hotmail dot com

Deb R. said...

It is so sad that we are seeing more and more children who are autistic. I am interested in seeing how Linda develops her characters in A Christmas Prayer. cjajsmommy {at} gmail {dot} com

Susan Johnson said...

I used to work with children with autism, so this book would be one I would love to read.

susanmsj at msn dot com

Jennifer said...

Hi Linda! My son has Aspergers and is considered very outgoing and is very good at working with little kids. He'll be 15 on Christmas Eve and I love him.
Thanks Linda for bringing awareness to these precious children.
jennydtipton at com

Rick Estep said...

What a great story and wonderful interview. Thanks for both!

librarybooks at religious dot com

Library Lady said...

Thanks for the teaser blurb of the book.
Now, I just have to win this book. I can't wait to see what happens next!
Janet E.

Jackie McNutt said...

I love the cover for this book! Being a care giver is one of the greatest Blessings in life but also one of the hardest and most challenging.
This looks like a great read.

PriviesAndPrims said...

Would love to win this!
Merry CHRISTmas to everyone!

priviesandprims at yahoo dot com

sm said...

Sorry the autistic child was not kept in parents' home. I do love country music-is there a CD inside?
just joking. I would love to win this book. sharon, ca wileygreen1(at)yahoo(dot)com

Brittany said...

Sounds like a powerful book. Some of our best friends have an autistic son and although we do not live in the same state, it is wonderful to hear of the steps forward he has taken. He has come such a long way.
Brittany McEuen

Linda Rondeau said...

Thank you all for your kind comments. If you don't win, I do hope you'll get this book whether you are a caregiver for an autistic child or not. The book is dedicated to my son and daughter-in-law who have two adopted special needs children. I have witnessed the difficulties, criticisms and lack of understanding the community at large has for these families.

Emma said...

A Christmas Prayer sounds wonderful. Please enter me in contest. Thank you for the opportunity to win.I enjoy reading your books.augustlily06(at)aim(dot)com.

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